1 in 460 Indigenous people in the Northern Territory have Crusted Scabies
Crusted Scabies is a highly contagious and chronic form of the skin disease, scabies. People with Crusted Scabies become engulfed with millions of scabies mites because their body is unable to launch an immune response to control mite replication. They often suffer in silence with pain and disfigurement (crusting and rotting flesh) similar to the social stigma of leprosy. If left untreated these individuals have a 50% mortality rate over 5 years.
Crusted Scabies patients are core transmitters of scabies spreading it to others in their household and community. Elimination of Crusted Scabies is the crucial first step to addressing scabies which is endemic in remote Indigenous communities. 7 in 10 Indigenous children suffer from scabies at least once before their first birthday.